House budget chief Rep. Paul Ryan knows that his proposed budget, which includes entitlement reform, is politically risky, but he says the need for overhaul is worth giving Democrats a political weapon. "'Is this a political weapon we are handing our adversaries? Of course it is,' Ryan said Thursday. 'I think everybody knows that we are walking into I guess what you would call a political trap that arguably we are setting for ourselves ... but we can’t wait. This needs leadership.'"
GOP budget negotiators are meeting with White House emissaries to work on a deal to avoid a government shutdown, but they'd rather not talk about it. Politico writes that "there’s also an almost palpable sense of drift, and the level of paranoia is such that Republican aides won’t even admit meeting with the president’s team, even though the groups were seen together in the Capitol."
Proposed cuts to foreign aid are driving a wedge between the Pentagon and some House Republicans eager to slash spending. The Hill: "The House-passed 2011 continuing resolution, H.R. 1, included a $121 million cut to the annual United States Agency for International Development (USAID) budget, which would amount to a 9 percent funding hit. The State Department has pushed back against the proposed cuts, and senior Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, have become vocal and powerful allies."
Rep. Darrell Issa is taking on D.C.'s new mayor. "A congressional committee has launched an official probe into allegations by Sulaimon Brown, the fired D.C. government employee and former mayoral candidate who says that Mayor Vincent C. Gray promised him a job and that he received payments from two members of Gray’s campaign for attacks on then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty last year."